Staro Jelezare Cured Minced Meat

Ark of taste
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Starozhelezarski Staretz

Starozhelezarski Staretz is prepared with pig ham finely chopped or roughly minced.

One kg of meat is seasoned with 40 g salt, 40 g home-made red pepper, 3-4 g ground cumin seeds and 8-10 g ground fennel seeds. Meat and spices are mixed and left aside for 12 hours. Then, the meat is stuffed in bladders, sealed and left to cure during the cold winter months. In spring the pieces are transferred into boxes and covered with wooden ashes. The first pieces of the delicacy are consumed in late August, when the grape harvest starts. It can last until December, when the new Starozhelezarski Staretz is ripe.

The hard and grey appearance of Starozhelezarski Staretz resembles stones. But, when cut in two, it shows its bright red heart and delivers its unforgettable aroma. Almost every family in Staro Zhelezare prepares this traditional product for their own consumption. So far, no attempts for artisan production with commercial purposes have been made. The product is eaten directly with bread or as a “meze,” an appetizer.

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Production area:Staro Jelezare City

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Cured meats and meat products

Nominated by:Dessislava Dimitrova